Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Word on Mocktails

Pinewood mocktail
Since I'm el prego, I've become a connoisseur of non-alcoholic beverages as of late. Turns out you get widely varying responses from restaurants when you request a mocktail. I've honestly been shocked by how many cocktail-centric restaurants proclaim that they can't make a mocktail for me. I want to drink something more fun than water and share a "drink" with my friends, and some places simply won't accommodate. How hard is it to leave alcohol out of a drink?

So cheers to the restaurants that have whipped up something wonderful for me so far. The Pinewood's delightful Pimm's Cup knock-off was a treat, and Sage in Las Vegas and Ecco both created delicious ginger based mocktails on the fly. Cardamom Hill's Mango Ginger is a flavor bomb even without the gin. Vegas's Parasol Up bar at the Wynn even has a mocktail section of their menu. The teetotalers of America thank you!

Often it's not complicated. A Bloody Mary is always a good booze-free option, and STG's was excellent. Floataway Cafe didn't go to any great lengths, but they were at least willing to give me their hot apple cider minus the bourbon at a lower price tag.

But I'd be remiss if I didn't offer a boo, hiss for the restos that left me high and dry. Holy Taco told me that they didn't have a way to charge me for a mocktail, so could they interest me instead in a glass of grapefruit juice? Uh, not what I had in mind when my friends were throwing back margaritas. Heck, mix a couple of juices together, throw in some seltzer and charge me juice prices for it. Bam! Problem solved.

Barracca, a newly opened sceney spot in NYC's West Village, had a nice cocktail list and big bar. Surely a "mixologist" could come up with something to serve me? Nope, waitress didn't even bother to ask, just said "no, there is nothing we can do for you." Their lack of willingness to even attempt to make me happy despite the big money I was dropping on the meal was a major turn off.

Restaurants, I'm going to let you in on a little secret. I come to you for not just a meal, but also for an experience, and a tasty and interesting drink is part of that. I miss cocktails, so can't we just pretend together?
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